Sand Martins

The Sand Martins are teetering on the edge of leaving Westray now. Their chicks must be fully grown and there are only a few trips into the burrows with food. I can see them over the fields of cattle gorging on flies. They turn and fly over the sea in beautiful weather.

Sand Martin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Their feathers look like brown velvet:

Sand Martin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are so small, so quick and so agile that they are the greatest challenge I have had to photograph so far:

Sand Martin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The scientific name of the Sand Martin is Riparia riparia. Riparian means ‘on the banks of a river’. These Sand Martins are on the banks of a sea.

My first attempt at photographing them was a few weeks ago:

Sandbanks

I’m definitely getting better with practice:

Sand Martin - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I might have to wait until next year for another chance.

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